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  Senate Democratic Leaders React to GOP Health Care Plan  CSPAN  March 8, 2017 9:19am-9:40am EST

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house republicans have released their plan to repeal and replace the affordable care act. the legislation ends the mandate requiring health care enrollment and replaces subsidies with tax credits. the plan keeps the policies that allow children to tstay on parent's plan until they're 26 and prevent ensurers from denying people from preexisting conditions. the house committee needs to
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mark up the legislation today and you can see it live at 10:30 a.m. eastern here on c-span3. later this morning, the house committee marks up the bill introduced by republicans. up next, senate democratic leaders on opposition to the legislation. >> okay. i am proud to be joined by my colleagues. senator murray at the health committee, senator wieden of the finance committee, senators murphy and senator haas et, both members of the health committee. well, last night, the republicans finally took their health care plan out from under lock and key. please, folks, can you move back? thank you. last night, the house republicans finally took their health care plan from under lock
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and key. trumpcare is finally available to the public. and democrats, a growing number of conservatives and millions of americans don't like what they see and for a whole host of reasons. first, trumpcare means higher costs for less health care, plain and simple. it means higher costs because the tax credits are far less generous than under the affordable care act. it means less health care and capped, insurance companies can provide less coverage and second, trumpcare cuts taxes on the very wealthy while forcing average americans to pay more. premiums are going to go up. but americans making over $250,000 will get a big tax break. it could average as much as $200,000 because it's an average and the high end pulls it up and
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then insurance companies making over $500,000 will get a tax cut. this is a tax cut for the wealthy with some health insurance provisions tacked alongside of it. third, trumpcare raises costs on older americans and provides less assistance to help them afford the care they need. seniors could be stuck with only $4,000 in tax credits to help them afford medical care. they'll live one accident away from financial ruin and because it cuts the medicare trust fund, medicare will run out of money now in 2025, not very long away. not very comforting for an elderly person in a nursing home or for their kids who might have
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to help support them. finally, trumpcare might be one of the biggest assaults on women's health that we've seen yet. the bill reduces coverage for maternity care. for mammograms. for birth control and more. it eliminates next year's funding for planned parenthood which provides health care for millions of american women every year. so it's no wonder the republicans kept this plan under lock and key. it's no wonder they want to jam it through before the american people learn what's in it. it's no wonder they want to vote before the congressional budget office tells us how many people will lose coverage and by how much this will increase the deficit. they're ashamed of this plan and it's amazing to me that after 8 years, they are so ill prepared that they don't have their act
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together and that both from the right side of their party and the left side of their party, people are taking shots at it. if their party has a left side. now, it's near certainty that this bill will cost millions to lose insurance and blow a gigantic hole in the federal budget. so it's reckless, irresponsible and make congress vote on this mess of a plan before we have those answers from cbo. simply put, trumpcare is a mess for the american people. we democrats will fight it tooth and nail. senator murray? >> there is a lot that could be said about the way this harmful legislation is is just one big broken promise to patients and families, but i want to focus specifically on what it would mean for women. as someone who has fought time and time again to make sure that
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women are able to make their own health care decisions, i've seen a lot of very harmful backwards efforts but this trumpcare bill couldn't be a more complete example of a wish list written for and by extreme politicians who want to attack women's health. to start, it would cut off access to critical health service iss from planned parenthood. some republicans may claim that other providers can just simply pick up the slack, but medical experts call that idea ludicrous. taking away access to care at planned parenthood means millions of fewer people get std tests, cancer screenings, and other basic primary care each year. those are the facts. trumpcare also slashes medicaid
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taking coverage away from low-income wicomen and women of color who disproportionately rely on that program and by gutting protections and putting power back into the hands of insurance companies, trumpcare would take women back to the days when insurers decided whether critical part was covered including maternity care, mammograms and contraception. to be clear, these are not optional benefits. they are essential and they should be treated that way. finally, this legislation would make it harder to exercise their constitutionally protected abortion rights by discouraging insurance companies from including that in their plans. all in all, this bill undermines women's access to health care and women's aid and abbility to their own health care decision.
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it is offensive and it is unacceptable. and it sends a deeply harmful message from house republicans to women everywhere that their health and the economic security that comes with it are a political football rather than a national priority but i know that we're stronger as a nation when women are healthy and in control of their own futures. we're going to fight this deeply harmful trumpcare legislation because of what it would mean for workers, families, and for all of us. i hope that everyone who agrees with me, democrats or republicans will as well. >> senator wyden? >> thank you, leader schumer and i want to pick up on the leader's point.
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hundreds of billions of dollars coming out of the pockets of working people and working families and it's transferred to the most fortunate in our country and nothing illustrates that more clearly than the fact that the republican proposal gets rid of the additional payroll tax on high income people. now understand everybody in america when they get a paycheck, they have a medicare tax on it. the only people who are getting a tax reduction are the people who are the fortunate few who need another tax break lease and what that proposal does, and this is particularly striking is it raises the medicare trust fund of more than $125 billion.
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number one, and it shortens the life expectancy of the medicare trust fund for three years. so i think this is particularly important, finally, because this breaks a clear trump promise not to damage medicare. all through the campaign, then candidate trump and you saw the commercials said it was going to be hands off medicare. that's not what the republican proposal on offer does. it gives big relief to the wealthiest in this country and it's paid for by putting at risk the medicare program. we're going to do everything we can to fight that. the only other point i want to make and is that right much mse into more detail that i think this is going to be a real
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hardship for older people who have relied on medicaid for nursing home care. medicaid now pays about 65% of the nursing home bill and because of the substantial cuts in medicaid, i think this is going to nickel and dime care for older people that they rely on and i think older people in this country are going to end up exhausting their savings and they're going to be hurt by these medicare changes. thank you, mr. leader, murphy. >> thank you. trumpcare is here and you are going to hate it. this is a dumpster fire of a bill that was written on the back of a napkin behind closed doors because republicans know it's a disaster. they know this is a disaster which is why they didn't let anybody see it which is why they
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are rushing it through without any hearings, without any ability for the american public to take a look at it. if they did allow americans to see it, americans would notice that older americans are specifically targeted for harm in this piece of legislation. why is that? well, first of all, the bill allows for insurance companies to jack rates up on older americans. that will result in premiums going up by $3,000 for the average 60-year-old. second, because the subsidies are so skimpy, the same individual will have their subsidy cut in half. so do the math. there are going to be millions of older americans, people on the precipice of medicare, who are not going to be able to afford insurance. older americans are specifically targeted for harm in this piece of legislation.
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and let's not get started on those that rely on medicaid. medicaid isn't just for poor kids and women and moms and dads. it's also for seniors who are in nursing homes. the clock is ticking under this proposal for seniors that are in nursing homes. states are not able to afford to keep seniors in nursing homes if medicaid is allowed to wither on the vine as is required under this proposal. this is a disaster of a piece of legislation which is exactly why republicans are trying to introduce it and get it off the front pages as soon as they can and democrats and as you've heard, many republicans are going to stop at nothing to make sure that this doesn't become a law. >> senator hasset? >> thank you. look, the heroin, fentanyl and opioid crisis is the most pressing public health and safety challenge in my state of
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new hampshire. i am proud during my time as governor, republicans and democrats came together to pass and reauthorize our state's bipartisan medicaid expansion plan. because of medicaid expansion, over 50,000 people in new hampshire now have quality affordable health insurance. and this health insurance critically includes coverage for behavioral health and substance use disorder services. the health care repeal bill released last night would undo that progress. make no mistake, this so-called replacement plan would end medicaid expansion, which experts have said is the most important tool available to fight the substance use crisis. the house republican plan also hurts children, seniors, and people with disabilities with drastic federal cuts to the
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traditional medicaid program. it would toforce states to eith cut services, citizens need or raise taxes. and know full well the impact the decisions in washington can have on our communities. repealing medicaid expansion would severely hurt the abilities on the front lines to save lives and turn the tide of this deadly substance abuse epidemic. substance abuse treatment providers have been clear that if medicaid expansion is repealed, they will have to significantly cut back on the help that they provided to those in need. to pull the rug out from millions of people across the country who are seeking a lifeline from the throes of addiction is the height of irresponsibility. and we cannot and we will not
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let it happen. we all agree that there is work to do to improve our health care system, but repealing the affordable care act, undoing medicaid expansion and cutting and capping medicaid is exactly the wrong approach. i'll stand strong with the people of new hampshire and with my colleagues in fighting against this dangerous bill that would pull us backward and hurt our efforts to combat the s substance use crisis. >> thank you for the excellent presentations, just begin to tell you the problems that trumpcare has. >> so democrats can outline their own plan on how to fix whatever flaws might exist in obamacare so that americans can compare and see, the republican route and your route. >> we have said repeatedly if president trump and leader
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mcconnell and speaker ryan will say that they have given up on repeal, we'd love to work with them to improve aca. they haven't done that and once you repeal large sections of the aca, you run into the kinds of trouble we've outlined before. >> you expressed your concerns before. were his answers satisfactory? >> i think he's a kind man. i was disappointed that he didn't say at the hearing that he would call on a special prosecutor. i'm still hopeful he will when he looks at the guidelines. it's really the best, far and away, the best alternative and i'm hopeful that a seasoned unbiassed report like rosa stein will see that. >> we hear these criticisms from the republicans, democrats when they passed obamacare senators and so and so forth, you hear the accusations and see the
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preliminary process here and to what is different about what the democrats did? >> it's really like night and day to be honest with you. we had hearings. our proposals were vetted out in the public over and over again. we had a cbo score. so people would know who was covered. people would know how much it would cost. they're doing none of this. they're hiding this plan. hiding it in every way. why? it's indefensible. they can't defend it to the american people. i think that they're ashamed of the plan, actually, but they're tors forced by ideological precepts and promises for 8 years they tried to repeal it and they're stuck. i do have to say, i'm amazed how poorly the reception has been and how poorly prepared they were. you think after 8 years, they could do better than what they did. >> this law keeps in place the popular provisions of obamacare staying on parent's health
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insurance until age 26 and ban on discrimination for preexisting conditions. do you consider this bill a repeal of obamacare? >> absolutely. it is a repeal and replaces it with something far worse and i would say this. on the preexisting conditions, it's unclear. the original proposal did not have a guarantee of preexisting conditions covered by costs. now i hear their changing it. we'll see what happens there. >> senator, you said democrats are going to fight this tooth and nail. can you explain how exactly they plan to do that? >> i think our job is to always hold the president and our republican colleagues in the majority accountable and that's what we're going to do. when the public hears what this plan is all about, they're going to really dislike it. they're going to hate it as one of my colleagues said. >> are democrats with any legislation that would fund
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president trump's wall with mexico? >> well, we're skusidiscussing issue right now. the wall is both impractical and unpopular and we would say to the president, why don't you get mexico to pay for it, not have to take money away from other needed programs. thank you, everybody. >> we'll join the house committee this morning live as members mark up the health care law introduced by republicans to replace the affordable care act. next, a briefing with speaker paul ryan, majority leader kevin mccarthy and commerce chair greg walden discussing the proposal.